'Swatting' – or calling the police to the home of someone you don't like under false pretenses – is one of those crimes that could only exist in the digital age. Even if it doesn't turn deadly (which it has on several occasions) it's still intensely traumatizing for the victim, not to mention a real dick move. — Read the rest
The Seattle Police Department, having coped with two (thankfully) nonlethal swatting incidents since June, has announced a registry where people worried they might be swatted (previously) can sign up; the registry is a modification of the existing, third-party, private-sector Smart911 system, and the SPD says that if your name is on it, they will tread extra-carefully in evaluating SWAT-like reports of hostage-taking, active shooters and other high-risk crimes at your home or office. — Read the rest
When a serial bomb-report hoaxer reported a fake hostage-taking on behalf of a gamer upset at a $1.50 wager, he set in motion a string of events that ended with a Wichita police officer murdering an innocent bystander on his own doorstep, without warning. — Read the rest
Adrienne Lafrance reports on largely futile efforts to make the Internet "safe for women". It's not just that law enforcement doesn't take it seriously, even after "real world" consequences such as swatting, violence and bomb threats. They're so ignorant of the Internet they don't even know what they're looking at when you show it to them. — Read the rest
Late last year, Katherine Clark [D-MA] introduced a bill that specifically criminalized swatting (tricking the police into thinking that there's an armed standoff in your victim's home in order to get them to swarm it with guns blazing); late Sunday night, someone tried to swat her.
Sorry, this story turned out to be a hoax.
A 16-year-old Canadian male has been arrested for calling in over 30 "swattings," bomb threats and other hoax calls to emergency services in North America. The young man is alleged to be the operator of @ProbablyOnion on Twitter, which had previously advertised swattings (sending SWAT teams to your enemies' homes by reporting phony hostage-takings there, advising police that someone matching your victim's description is on the scene, armed and out of control) as a service, and had bragged of swatting computer crime journalism Brian Krebs twice. — Read the rest
This is a rechargable electrified tennis-racket for swatting flies and mosquitos: "Just press on the switch and a live electric current flows through the inner mesh and the moment a mosquito, bug or fly comes touches it, it gets a electric shock and gets zapped. — Read the rest
A Volaris airline flight from Guadalajara to Mexico City was delayed for two hours when a swarm of mosquitoes took over the plane cabin. According to officials, the heavy vegetation and floodwaters surrounding the airport contribute to a major mosquito problem. — Read the rest
Calls claiming active shooters in Pittsburgh-area schools are hoaxes, said state police Wednesday morning, describing them as "computer generated" and saying there is no evidence of shooting or shooters at any of the claimed locations.
Coming days after a mass shooter in Nashville killed three children and three teachers at a private school there, local authorities in Pittsburgh and nearby towns are nonetheless taking no chances: heavily armed officers were seen patrolling Central Catholic, Hopewell, Chalfont and Oakland Catholic school, among others; they and nearby businesses are reportedly in lockdown. — Read the rest
If you've ever been to Bisbee, Arizona in the summer, and have eaten outside, you know that flies love summer in Bisbee as much as the locals and visitors do. The fly problem isn't new – it goes way back, and in the summer of 1912, the Commercial Club in Bisbee came up with a way to try to control the flies. — Read the rest
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q–GA) claims she was swatted once again, for the second night in a row. "Swatted again last night," she posted this morning (see below), around 24 hours after reporting the first swatting incident at her home (which, according to CNN, reportedly took place at 1am Wednesday morning). — Read the rest
There is nothing more terrible than the shrill whine of a fly, especially when it insists on invading the privacy of one's home. More often than not, the fly seems to be out to torment me, buzzing its way around my rooms with a sense of impunity, hoping to agitate me. — Read the rest
Jameson Lopp is maintaining a list of real-world bitcoin-related attacks, thefts and robberies. Most seem to be people robbing the cash that bitcoin's good for getting, but there are many alarming and fascinating examples of technothriller material. The earliest in the list is a December 2014 SWATting of a developer, but action soon moves to bitcoin ATMs and more traditional felonies. — Read the rest
One important detail from this week's admission from Doordash that they'd suffered (and remained silent about) a breach of 4.9 million records: Doordash, by its nature, includes the home addresses of people who otherwise avoid disclosing where they live.
If you've ever used one of these electric flyswatters, you already know they work. Mine finally broke so I upgraded by getting this USB-charging zapper with an LED for swatting in the dark. Amazon has it on sale right now for: [amazon_link asins='B06WW6831F' template='PriceLink' store='boingboing' marketplace='US' link_id='b8a78358-025d-4b01-8933-ff93efbe1f4f'].
Josh Dzieza's deeply reported story on the dirty tricks used by Amazon's third-party sellers to beat their rivals is an outstanding read, and an important contribution to the debate about how automated systems that police user conduct fail at scale.
— Read the rest
A California man has admitted making a hoax call that ultimately led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following a dispute between online gamers over $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game.
An NBC investigative journalism team and a security researcher went wardriving around the DC area with a cell-site-simulator detector that would tell them whenever they came in range of a fake cellphone tower that tried to trick their phones into connecting to it in order to covertly track their locations (some cell site simulators can also hack phones to spy on SMS, calls and data).